The starting point for our seminar is the question of how postcolonial thought enhances our possible understandings of Italy - as a nation, as a territorial unit coalescing cultural parts that remain disparate to this day, and as a population that has not come fully to terms with its fascist history, its crimes in World War II, or the atrocities it perpetrated as a colonizing state. The Italian case is unusual compared to others, in that the country's colonial past in north and east Africa is still being uncovered after a long period of public silence and government suppression; and what might be called the postcolonial Italian project has begun only recently, driven by a distinct minority of scholars, 'migrant' authors, and activists.nnFrench cultural politics and history are often taken as a point of reference from which to analyze Italian phenomena. In this case, we will make use of the French postcolonial tradition as a point of both comparison and differentiation. Among other things, we will focus on the different meanings of 'postcolonial' in a country that is strongly centralized (France) and another which is unremittingly fragmented (Italy). As just one example, we will scrutinize how Gramsci's work has been understood in Anglophone and Francophone criticism (cultural studies, Subaltern studies, and so on), as opposed to how it may be read in its original Italian context, where it concerned subalterns within the nation-state.nnAsking what is postcolonial, for whom, when, and where?, ultimately our goal is to discern the specific contours of Italy's postcolonialism by juxtaposing it with France's, and to simultaneously ask what light can be shed on French postcolonial particularities by placing it in this dialogue. Beginning with fundamental historical readings (Gramsci, Fanon, Memmi) and touching on some early Anglophone postcolonial critics (Said, Bhabha), the seminar will then be structured around key literary and theoretical readings from Italy and France. Ideally, readings will be in the original language, but as often as possible they will be selected such that they will be accessible in English translation as well. Taught in English.